Representatives of the East Region receive the Tonge Trophy for overall winners

East rule the roost at Inter-Regionals

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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West Midlands took two individual titles, but it was the East region which won the Tonge Trophy as overall champions after the second day of the Inter-Regional Finals at Hatfield.

The two titles to fall to the West Midlands were in the Cadet Girls (Megan Jones) and Under-13 Boys (Dan Jones).

The Cadet Boys’ gold was won by Toby Ellis of North West, while the Under-13 Girls went to Evelyn Pace of the South East.

The Under-11 Boys was won by South West’s Kacper Piwowar, while the corresponding girls’ event went to Mia Lakhani of London.

The final standings in the Tonge Trophy were: 1 East (151pts), 2 South West (146), 3 East Midlands (138), 4 South East (111), 5 West Midlands (90), 6 North West (80), 7 London (73), 8 Yorkshire (52), 9 North East (45), 10 Southern (33).

Click here to read the report on the team finals

All pictures by John Upham – click here to see more on our Flickr page

Cadet Boys

Toby Ellis

Fourth seed Toby Ellis took the title for the North West with a 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-4) victory over top seed Oliver Cornish of South West.

Both finalists came through their semi-finalists in three straight – Ellis 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 against Todd Stanmore (S) and Cornish 11-8, 11-8, 11-0 against Mahmood Kelani of South East.

Second seed Jakub Piwowar (SW) was knocked out in the quarters by Stanmore. It was three straight but still qualifies as edging through – the winning margin was 16-14, 11-9, 19-17.

Stanmore had earlier recovered a 2-1 deficit in beating Alexander Cochrane (EM) in the first round, coming through 3-2 (10-12, 11-7, 2-11, 11-6, 11-6).

Winner Ellis, 13 and from Morecambe, said: “I feel great. I came second last year and I knew it would be tough this year – I thought maybe I could get to the semi-finals, but when Todd beat Jakub I felt more confident.”

Cadet Girls

Megan Jones

As in the boys’ event, it was victory for the fourth seed, with Megan Jones overcoming top seed Samadhi Udamulla.

The West Midlands player had to come from behind to get the better of East’s Udamulla, finally winning it 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5).

Jones, 13 and from Telford, said: “I wasn’t expecting to get to the final – actually, I thought it would be difficult to get out of the group. But I just kept playing and enjoying it and I’m obviously very happy to win.”

Udamulla herself had to fightback from 2-1 down in her semi-final against South West’s Angharad Beman, prevailing 3-2 (14-12, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8) in the end.

Jones came through in four in her semi-final, the scoreline 3-1 (11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4) against Eve Witterick (NE)

Witterick had dispatched the second seed, Lauren Loosemore (SW), in the quarters, coming charging back from 2-0 down to edge a tight match 3-2 (9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).

Under-13 Boys

Daniel Jones

Jones of West Midlands was a winner again, but this time it was Dan – no relation to team-mate Megan.

The unseeded player advanced through the competition to face third seed Joseph Cooper from the East Midlands in the final, and Jones claimed it 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-8).

Jones, aged 12 and from Wolverhampton, said: “I thought I’d lose the final because I’d lost to him twice before and never beaten him, but I had different tactics and my coach helped me. At the start of the day, I thought I could go quite far but not win it, but I started to believe after the quarter-finals.”

In the last four, Cooper got the better of Jacob Archer (SE) 3-0 (13-11, 11-3, 11-6), while it was four sets for Jones against another South East player, Adam Palmer – the score in that one 11-7, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7.

With the top seed Nathaniel Saunders withdrawn and second seed Tom Powlesland (SW) beaten in the first round by Francesco Bonato (L), the competition opened up for the rest of the field.

Archer, who came though the group vacated by Saunders, nevertheless lived up to his new-found top seeding, winning his first round in three and then getting the better of East’s Ethan Eaketts in five (11-5, 4-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7). His run ended in that semi-final defeat by Cooper.

Under-13 Girls

Evelyn Pace

Evelyn Pace of South East is going home with two gold medals after adding the individual title to team success.

The top seed beat Chloe Kay of South West in the final in three straight (4, 1, 7) and said: “I thought I could win two golds because I’ve been training a lot and I thought if I didn’t win then it wouldn’t have been worth it. I was really prepared.”

Pace beat second seed Anna Piercey in the semi-finals, going through 3-1 (11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6), while Kay overcame East Midlands’ Naomi Coker in three (8, 9, 9).

The tightest of the quarter-finals had involved Piercey and third seed Inara Ahmed (EM) – who would not have met at that stage had Piercey not finished second in her group to Kay. In the event, Piercey prevailed 3-2 (6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Under-11 Boys

Kacper Piwowar

There is a new champion in the Piwowar household as eight-year-old Kacper took the gold and joined older brother Jakub as a winner on the national stage.

Piwowar, representing South West, defeated Isaac Kingham of East region 3-1 (11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9) in the final.

The youngster said: “I feel happy and amazing. It kept getting harder and harder but somehow I kept beating everyone. When it was 2-1 to me and 10-9 in the final and his serve hit the net and fell off the table, I just shouted as hard as I could because I was so happy.”

Piwowar defeated South West team-mate Charlie Davidson 3-1 (11-6, 12-14, 11-9, 11-8) in the semi-finals, while Kingham needed only three to get the better of Yorkshire’s Prateek Divarkaria (5, 8, 3).

Davidson earlier staved off a comeback by Zac Greenhough (NE) in the quarters before progressing 3-2 (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8).

Under-11 Girls

Mia Lakhani

London’s Mia Lakhani, the top seed, won the title thanks to a 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 12-10) victory over Mia Chan of West Midlands in the final.

It was a second gold for Lakhani, having helped London to team success earlier in the competition.

The 10-year-old from Pinner said: “I thought I could win one gold medal, so it’s amazing to win two. I had support and advice from my family and that made me think I could do it.”

Chan came through her semi-final against Brooke Morris (NW) in four – 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6 – but had been extended in the quarter-finals by Isabella Turner-Samuels (L) before progressing 3-2 (14-12, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8).

Lakhani too had a tough quarter-final as she saw off Evie Ferrer (EM) 3-2 (11-4, 3-11, 10-12, 11-4, 13-11). She went on to beat Eva Eccles (E) 3-1 (11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9) in the semis.

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